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How often are you held back by self-limiting beliefs?


SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership — tracks feedback from more than 210,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each week in our e-newsletter.

How often are you held back by self-limiting beliefs?

  • Never — I believe I can do anything: 10% 
  • Sometimes — A few of my beliefs hold me back: 61%
  • Often — Self-limiting beliefs get in my way frequently: 23%
  • Always — I’m the biggest barrier to my own success: 5%

Set yourself free. Self-limiting beliefs rob you of opportunities and keep your organization from being as great as it could. When you run into these situations, consider the source of the belief, the likelihood of bad things happening if you take the action you’re afraid of, and the upside of overcoming that fear. Ask yourself if the source of your fear is realistic or rational. Once you get to the root of that fear, it’s much easier to overcome. After you confront the fear and take action, you can build momentum when you see your fears haven’t played out like you thought. It’s this constant positive reinforcement that will help you overcome your self-imposed limits.

Mike Figliuolo is managing director of thoughtLEADERS. Before launching his own company, he worked at McKinsey & Co., Capital One and Scotts Miracle-Gro. He is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He’s the author of three leadership books: “One Piece of Paper,” “Lead Inside the Box,” and “The Elegant Pitch.”